“What better way to spend a rainy day?”
The front-man of Southern California country band Kanan Road smiled as he spoke to an audience of nearly 50 bluegrass fans, outfitted with raincoats, ponchos, hats and umbrellas.
The diehard fans braved Saturday’s windy, wet and chilly weather to attend the second day of the three-day Temecula Bluegrass Festival.
The annual city-sponsored event held in Old Town Temecula had to improvise this year thanks to the rainy weather. The outdoor main stage, originally planned for Town Square, was relocated to new restaurant GrandDadz Hot Dogs.
But despite the less than ideal conditions, Jean Nixon and her husband WL were not going to miss it.
“It’s very special,” Jean Nixon, of Banning, said of bluegrass music.
Nixon was enjoying the polished, guitar-driven sounds of Kanan Road, the day’s first main stage performer for the free concert lineup.
“It’s not bluegrass; it’s country, but I like it,” she said.
Nearby, Orange County’s Wimberley Bluegrass Band, a brothers-and-sister bluegrass quartet, were playing their own impromptu set underneath the awning of a nearby building.
Each playing a banjo, mandolin, fiddle and guitar, the siblings, ages 13 to 18, performed a few songs and showcased their four-part harmonies prior to taking the stage after Kanan Road.
The rain couldn’t faze the Wimberleys either.
“I just like rain,” said guitarist Mark Wimberley, taking a break from their performance on the porch outside the Old Town Sweet Shop. “I love playing bluegrass in the rain — rain or shine.”
The group previously played at the same location for a separate concert.
“(It’s the) perfect spot for jamming,” he said.
Near the main stage, the Wimberley’s mother, Tina Wimberley, was waiting for her children to take the stage.
She said they first came to the Temecula Bluegrass Festival in 2007. By that time, the four siblings had been “bitten by the (bluegrass) bug,” but it helped foster their love for the genre and develop their talents.
“They liked the sound (of bluegrass),” she said. “It’s just different than everything else.”
The siblings took workshops at the event and have been attending the festival ever since. This year is their first year performing.
Their performance coincides with the release today of their full-length album, “Road to Cypress Creek,” which features four original songs written by the siblings.
“People are here, which is neat,” Tina said. “You can’t get this many places in California
“You want to make sure you don’t miss something like this.”
The event continues throughout the day today and Sunday. For more information, visit temeculacalifornia.com.
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